Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780745399065 Published December 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745399089 Published January 2017 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

Working the Phones

Control and Resistance in Call Centers

Jamie Woodcock

Working the Phones

Jamie Woodcock

Distributed for Pluto Press

272 pages | 5 1/3 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780745399065 Published December 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745399089 Published January 2017 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Call centers have become a near-ubiquitous site of employment in our late capitalist world, with over a million people working there in the United Kingdom alone. The call center has become synonymous with low-paid, high-stress work under dictatorial supervision and precarious contracts. With Working the Phones, Jamie Woodcock draws on time spent employed in a non-unionized call center to take the public beyond anecdotal impressions to a true picture of what work is like there. Focusing in particular on methods of control and resistance within the highly regulated environment, Woodcock shows how call centers have become sadly emblematic of the post-industrial service economy.
 
Contents
Acknowledgements
1: Introduction 
2: Working in the call centre
3: Management
4: Moments of resistance
5: Precarious organisation
6: Conclusion
Notes
References
Review Quotes
Peter Fleming, author of The Mythology of Work
"Woodcock’s brilliant insider account of life in a British call-centre reveals the dirty realities of digital capitalism. It’s a grim world that business wonks and politicians would rather you’d not know about. But unlike other descriptions of the neoliberal workforce who are pliant and broke, Woodcock finds workers fighting back. Capitalism hasn’t won...not yet at least. And things are about to get nasty. Working the Phones tells us why in a book that is sure to become a classic."
Alberto Toscano, University of London
''In this urgent and incisive study, Woodcock draws on the rich tradition of workers' inquiry to explore the violence of management and the shape of resistance in an industry that has become paradigmatic of the degradation of work in the twenty-first century. Combining political acumen and scholarly depth, he identifies the imposing challenges to organising against exploitation in conditions of atomised precarity, while also giving us precious glimpses of what a counter-offensive against capital might look like. A masterful lesson in how sociology can serve both to interpret and change a world of labour under the pall of austerity.''
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